The Libertines' John Hassall has collaborated with Gabi Garbutt on a track about dementia for her forthcoming debut album
Cai Trefor
11:58 19th October 2017

Gabi, who releases her debut single, 'Armed With Love' from the as yet untitled album, was one of the acts personally invited to support The Libertines on their seaside UK tour last month.

A massive fan of the band for years, Gabi said of the show at Lowestoft Claremont Pier: “The whole experience was great fun - the journey there, even the waiting around to play, the playing, watching the Libertines from the side of the stage and getting drunk and enjoying ourselves afterwards.”

Libertines bassist John Hassall got to know Gabi when she read poetry and sang at his wife's night Y Tuesday upstairs at the Three Kings pub in Clerkenwell. The song, titled 'Lady of Seville', already written by the pair and due to be recorded in the next few weeks, was inspired by an 85 year old Spanish woman who Gabi sees through her work in dementia wellbeing, and how music has helped her cling onto her personality and identity.

“It's about her journey and her songs and how that's still a big part of who she is,” says Gabi, “My favourite fact about dementia is that the part of your brain that responds to and appreciates music is never affected, even in the later stages of dementia. It stays intact. So that's a really good way or reaching and stimulating people with dementia. She loves that - she loves singing.”

The song came about when Hassall asked Gabi to write some lyrics for him to put music to. “So with ‘Lady of Seville’, the lyrics are mine and the chords and vocal melody are his. We then worked on it with my band so the instrumentation is down to the Illuminations lot. When we record it I'm going to play bass and sing. My band will do drums, harmonium, Viola, guitar and trumpet. He (John) will do some vocals as well and some guitar.”

In the meantime, Gabi shares the first single from the album, which has been made in collaboration with Manics keyboard player and Dexys member/producer, multi instumentalist Sean Read, excluisvely with Gigwise. A soulful and poetric tribuite to a friend and her ability to face off adversity, it's due out on the Famous Times label on December 1.